To Theo van Gogh. Paris, Monday, 10 January 1876.
My dear Theo,
I haven’t written to you since we saw each other; in the meantime something has happened that didn’t come as a total surprise to me.
When I saw Mr Boussod again I asked if His Hon. indeed thought it a good thing for me to go on working in the firm this year, since His Hon. had never had any very serious complaints against me.
The latter was indeed the case, though, and His Hon. took the words out of my mouth, so to speak, saying that I would leave on 1 April, thanking the gentlemen for anything I might have learned in their firm.
When an apple is ripe, all it takes is a gentle breeze to make it fall from the tree, it’s also like that here. I’ve certainly done things that were in some way very wrong, and so have little to say. And now, old boy, so far I’m really rather in the dark about what I should do, but we must try and keep hope and courage alive. Be so good as to let Mr Tersteeg read this letter, His Hon. may know it, but I believe it’s better that you speak to no one else of it for the time being, and behave as if nothing is going on.
Do write again soon, and believe me ever,
Your loving brother